President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board: Suggested Considerations in Fundamental Reform of the United States Tax Treatment of Income from Cross Border Trade and Investment

Dilworth, Robert H. | January 1, 2010

The President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (“PERAB”) has as part of its mandated inquiry the reform of the U.S. tax treatment of income from cross border trade and investment. This paper sets forth a short set of recommendations as to tax reform methodology and some substantive proposals. Tax reform should not “start over,” or undertake significant changes, without a fairly detailed understanding of what the present regime actually does, or does not do, and identifying the relationship (if any) between the various existing provisions and whatever “the problem” is perceived to be. The present architecture results from the striking of balances and the making of compromises between competing good ideas (and no doubt a few bad ones).